Afforestation Current Affairs - 2020

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Financial Assistance to Kaziranga National Park under CAMPA

On March 2, 2020, a Rajya Sabha Member of the ruling party replied about the financial assistance being provided to the Kaziranga National Park, Assam

Highlights

The Rajya Sabha MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa said that Rs 94,46,585 and Rs 51,24,670 were sanctioned for Kaziranga National Park during the financial years 2018-19 and 2019-20. The funds were sanctioned under CAMPA. Apart from this, funds were also transferred under Project Tiger Scheme and Development of Wildlife Habitat Scheme

What were the steps taken withe funds?

The Assam Government has used the allocated fund to deploy Special Rhino Protection Force, Assam Forest Protection Force, Home Guards and front line forest staff. Many platforms and highlands have been constructed in the park. This helps the animals to stay safe during floods. Anti-poaching camps have been organized. Several smart technologies like “Electronic Eye” have been adopted.

The above steps were taken by the Assam State Government with the help of funds allocated

CAMPA

CAMPA is Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority. It was established in 2001 and is governed through CAMPA act.

Background

In 2003, the Supreme Court noticed that funds collected for afforestation were underutilized by the states. Therefore, the apex court set up CAMPA to manage the fund. Later in 2015, the act was constituted to regulate the afforestation funds.

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Ministry of Coal forms Sustainable Development Cell

On December 15, 2019, the Coal Ministry announced that it is to establish “Sustainable Development Cell” (SDC) to promote environment friendly and sustainable coal mining. The main objective of the cell is to address environmental concerns that arise during closure of mines. The cell will mentor, advise, plan and monitor mitigation measures to provide better environment to the people residing near the mines.

Highlights

The cell will act as a nodal point to minimize the adverse impacts of mining. It will also formulate future policy framework focusing in environmental mitigation measures. The SDC will focus on sustainable mine tourism, mine water management, air quality and sustainable overburden management. The cell will also set up Mine Closure Fund.

Tasks of the cell

In India 2,550 square kilometres of land is under coal mines. The cell will help the mines locate land areas where afforestation can be done. It will advise the mines on air quality, noise management and emission. The cell will also suggest reuse and recycle of overburdened dumps in sustainable manner. It will help the mines to manage tourism and frame policies.

Mine Closure

The guidelines for mine closure was issued by the Ministry of Coal in 2012 and the idea was mooted in 2009. According to the guidelines, the mining authority will have to work on two plans namely concurrent mine closure plan and final mine closure plan. Under concurrent mine closure plan, there are activities that are to be done continuously during the entire period of mining operations. Under the final mine closure plan, the activities will start towards the end of the mine life.

Mine Closure Guidelines

The guidelines make it mandatory for the authority to mention the reason of closure such as lack of demand, exhaustion of minerals, uneconomic operations, etc. The authority should also include water quality management, air quality management, top soil management, management of coal rejects from washery, disposal of mining machinery, existing infrastructural facilities.

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